This week I’ve been going through the book of 1 Timothy in my studies. Right now I’m in chapter 4. The things that keeps sticking out to me is the fact that Paul wrote this letter to a young minister, a preacher. When I read it, sometimes I think it’s a letter to me, to Nate. I’ve been stuck in chapter 4 for a while now, trying to understand what Paul is talking about on a personal level. It’s neat how God works. Let me tell you.
Chapter 4 talks about the importance of knowing what you believe, persevering in it, setting an example with it, and teaching it. Every minister, every believer should devote themselves to Scripture. But one thing that caught my attention was not neglecting my gift.
Today I got in the office flustered from yesterday. I didn’t get a chance to spend time studying before I began work. I missed it deeply and it affected my day. I kept getting phone calls and online chats for help on things. I do enjoy being able to help people out and inform them on things they don’t understand. It was abnormal yesterday though. I never get phone calls, and I got 4 yesterday and each call lasted about an hour. Weird. So I made sure to get in earlier so that would not happen again, so I wouldn’t miss what desperately need: time with God. I meant to get the bulletin done and ready for print and to prepare for my Worship Department meeting tonight. Didn’t happen. Was going to go fishing today with some of my gym buddies, but had to turn them down because of what didn’t get done yesterday.
For some reason when I walked in the office, I had a strong urge to pick up the guitar and play. I realized why. Some of you might be thinking, “Don’t you have a lot to do other than spend time playing the guitar?” Well, yeah, but I think the Spirit was moving within me to just stop everything and spend some time in worship, to not neglect the gift I’ve been given, but use it to begin the day with praise to God. I can honestly say I’m guilty of neglecting my gift. This morning I was able to pour out my heart to the Lord in song and music. It’s affecting me deeply. There’s a connection with God that grows stronger when our gift isn’t neglected.
This also makes me think about my example. I may not be a preacher, but a worship pastor has an example to set for believers to help them understand what true worship to God looks like. Worship includes not neglecting your gift but using it to bring God praise.
Another part that sticks out to me is verses 15-16, to be diligent and give myself wholly to them so that everyone may see my progress; to watch my life and doctrine closely and persevere in them so save both myself and my hearers. It’s such a big responsibility to have a spotlight shining on my life. So, again, who am I reflecting when that light is shining on me?
Those of you who are ministers as well, let’s take a few moment and think about the doctrine we preach with our lives. Is it clear, obvious, done in love and purity, spoken well, devoted to God, thankful, and maximizing our gifts? What doctrine has slipped in to our thinking or way of life that isn’t godly or considered neutral? Maybe it’s not neutral. Maybe it’s a myth or old wives’ tale. Are we training ourselves by being diligent and giving ourselves wholly over to what is driving us in our ministry? This is what should drive us, and this is why worshiping this morning has opened my eyes to finally understand this chapter: 1 Timothy 4:10 “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”